Contractor Marketing: Purpose-Driven Marketing

Taking Precautions to Put Money Where it Matters

by Heidi J. Ellsworth, owner, HJE Consulting

(Editor’s Note: Heidi J. Ellsworth, a graduate of the University of Portland, has been working in the roofing industry since 1993. Having held positions with EagleView® Technology Corporation, Carlisle® Construction Materials, Eco-Star™, and Malarkey Roofing Products®, Ellsworth is now the founder of the roofing-focused marketing firm, HJE Consulting Group. She is also the author of “Sales and Marketing for Roofing Contractors,” a guide for small businesses in the roofing industry.)

Does it matter where you spend your money? Does it matter where you invest? Well, studies are showing that it does matter to consumers more than ever. Consumers are looking at the culture and commitment of companies they are working with or buying from, more than ever. Whether it is sustainability, diversity, or community involvement, they are evaluating companies and how they are giving back or supporting initiatives that they care about.

What is a purpose-driven company? According to a recent article from Indeed, a purpose-driven company is an organization with a clear purpose or defining statement that guides its strategy and decision making. This purpose describes its values and goals and helps employees understand their role in achieving the organization’s vision. A company reflects it through its culture and policies. An organization may also demonstrate it through its products and services and the initiatives and programs it supports.

LinkedIn is seeing that purpose-driven companies are taking a lead in their respective markets and communities. In a recent article they shared strong statistics proving the trend. According to the Cone/Porter Novelli survey, 66% of respondents would switch from a product they currently buy to a new product from a purpose-driven company. When Millennials are polled, this proportion rises to 91%. They also noted that 78% of consumers would tell others to buy from a purpose-driven company and that 68% are not likely to share content from traditional companies with their social networks. However, 73% of consumers are willing to defend a brand with a purpose if it is negatively discussed.

These and many other studies indicate that having a solid brand purpose can be a significant competitive advantage for companies. Purpose-driven companies can attract and retain customers loyal to brands that align with their values and are willing to pay a premium for sustainable purchases.

As we have talked about in previous articles, being authentic is critical. Having a brand purpose creates a sense of authenticity and identity that resonates with customers and employees. Companies need to determine their brand purpose and let it serve as a compass for your company, product offerings, and employees.

In a Forbes column from December 2023 reviewing the top marketing trends for 2024, Sustainability And Purpose-Driven Marketing made the list. As environmental concerns continue to take center stage, consumers increasingly seek brands that align with their values. To achieve success, it will be essential for businesses to adopt sustainable and purpose-driven marketing strategies that are authentic to the brand.

What can roofing companies do? What they have been doing for centuries, providing protection for every family and structure in their community. But there is even more today as today’s consumers are also looking for purpose-driven cultures that take into consideration the environment and societal needs. Too often in the past, it has been believed that companies should not talk about what they give back to the community, but those days are gone.

It is not just important for your company to share what you are doing for your community and the environment around you, but it is critical for the reputation of roofing overall. Within the last decades, roofing companies have begun to share their commitment to the community, environment, diversity, and employee culture. By sharing what you are doing through your social media, marketing, and advertising you will be able to communicate this with current customers and future customers creating additional buy-in for your company.

It is also important to develop a written communication of your purpose. It should align with your core values and overall mission statement so you can easily communicate it to both your customers and your employees. It could be a commitment to giving back to the community or maybe a commitment to recycling or it could be supporting your local schools. It doesn’t matter what it is as much as that it is embraced by your leadership and employees who live it daily and share their commitment.

It is the purpose that matters and that the purpose helps and resonates with the community you are in. From the statistics above you can see that this is important today but will only increase in importance with future homeowners in the millennial and Gen Z generations. Taking the time now to define your purpose can lead to a stronger company that continues to see more loyal customers and employees.